Discoveries

OHSU vaccine candidate completely clears AIDS-causing virus from the body

An HIV/AIDS vaccine candidate developed by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University appears to have the ability to completely clear an AIDS-causing virus from the body. In a paper published online today in Nature, the researchers show that 50 percent of monkeys given the vaccine were able to completely eliminate the monkey form of HIV. The researchers used a common, harmless virus called cytomegalovirus and modified it to carry genes for SIV proteins, the … Read More

OHSU scientists report major breakthrough in embryonic stem cells

Stem cells are thought to hold promise for treating degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and heart disease. But finding a source of embryonic stem cells, which can be reprogrammed into any other cell type, has been an obstacle to progress in developing such treatments. Now OHSU’s Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D, and his team have developed a process that transforms human skin cells into embryonic stem cells. This successful reprogramming utilizes somatic nuclear transfer. The Mitalipov lab is the … Read More

Doernbecher researchers first to grow transplantable liver stem cells in culture

“Liver stem cell therapy for humans is coming,” said Markus Grompe, M.D., director of the  Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute and co-author of a new Nature paper that describes how a team of researchers was able to successfully grow mouse liver stem cells in culture for the first time. The cells were then transplanted into a mouse model for liver disease, where they had a modest therapeutic effect. In the study, researchers used a modified version … Read More

Epigenetic research helps explain early-onset puberty in females

Researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) have published findings on the role of epigenetics in the control of puberty in females. The paper, published in the early online edition of Nature Neuroscience, explains how an epigenetic mechanism operating in the hypothalamus can regulate the timing of puberty. Using female rats, the researchers were able to determine that a group of proteins, called Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins, inhibit the activity of a gene known as Kiss1. When PcG protein levels … Read More

Could ocean-dwelling creatures lead us to powerful new medications?

OHSU researcher Margo Haygood, Ph.D., and collaborators from the Philippine Mollusk Symbiont International Cooperative Biodiversity Group have recently discovered two unexpected sources for new antibiotics and painkillers. In a paper published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe how the bacteria used by shipworms to convert wood into food produce a powerful antibiotic. According to Dr. Haygood, finding new sources of antibiotics is critical because current antibiotics are … Read More

OHSU researchers successfully test new gene therapy in human cells

Imagine knowing that your child is at risk for inheriting a genetic condition. Now imagine being able to fix the genetic defect before the child is even born. This may sound like something out of science fiction, but we’re one step closer to it being reality thanks to researchers here at Oregon Health & Science University. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., associate scientist in the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research … Read More

New technique to determine particle mass based on optical imaging

OHSU Department of Biomedical Engineering researchers have developed a new technique that can determine the mass of a microscopic particle just by its appearance. An article detailing the work, headed by biomedical engineering postdoctoral fellow Kevin Phillips, Ph.D., was published this month in the Physical Review Letter. The new technique, called tomographic bright field imaging or TBFI, will allow researchers to perform mass measurements on a cellular level using standard laboratory microscopes. Other OHSU researchers … Read More

Mouse model developed at OHSU leads to breakthrough in malaria research

In 2007, OHSU’s Markus Grompe, M.D., and collaborators, developed an animal model for studying a human-specific parasite that causes malaria. Just recently, this mouse model was used by investigators at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute to gain a better understanding of how proteins are expressed in the liver during infection. Their research was published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The technology was licensed to Yecuris Corporation back in 2007, a biotech company founded by … Read More

Why is developing an AIDS vaccine so difficult?

Over the years, scientists have developed a myriad of vaccines, some of which have eradicated the world’s most dangerous diseases. So why is an AIDS vaccine still so elusive? New research by OHSU’s Louis Picker, M.D., published online in Nature Medicine, explains. Dr. Picker likens our search for an AIDS vaccine to the tale of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’: “The field was looking for a vaccine that was ‘not too hot,’ or ‘not too … Read More

OHSU study advances understanding of TDP-43 protein in ALS

A new study by researchers at the OHSU School of Dentistry advances our understanding of how a protein, TDP-43, impacts gene expression in neurodegenerative diseases like ALS. The researchers altered levels of TDP-43 in fruit flies to directly compare too much versus too little of the protein. Using massively parallel sequencing, they found that loss of TDP-43 results in widespread gene activation and altered splicing. Over expression resulted in decreased gene expression–a finding contrary to … Read More

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Welcome to the Research News Blog

OHSU Research News is your portal to information about all things research at Oregon Health & Science University. Visit often for updates on events, discoveries, and important funding information.

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